Friday, 19 January 2018

It's not golf- Byres Hill

18 January 2018
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Byres Hill, 55m/180', Tump, OS 64, NS 501648
 
A number of Tumps are also golf courses, including Byres Hill on the boundary between Glasgow and Paisley. The heavy snowfall that we have had in the past week provided an opportunity to bag it without having to dodge golf balls and golfers. Although the flags were still in the greens, the whole place was waterlogged with large snow patches; can't see any golf being played there for a while. The forecast wasn't very good with heavy showers forecast and sure enough, as I parked in a nearby street, I could see that heavy rain/snow was approaching. Still, only a short walk so I went for it.

On a good day, this would be a fine viewpoint. This was not a good day but it was still worthwhile. A fox scuttled past while I was taking photos at the trig.

The trig point.....


With Glasgow beyond.....


Glasgow again.....


Paisley.....


The precipitation that was approaching was clearly neither light nor short lived so I high tailed it back downhill as fast as I could. I just about made it to the car.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Braes of Fowlis

11 January 2018
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Braes of Fowlis, 247m/811', Tump P30, OS 52, NN 923249
 
It was thick fog in the central belt this morning but the forecast for elsewhere was good so I headed to Crieff for this Tump. The interest was not only in the hill itself but also in the Bronze Age monuments near to the summit- one standing stone, one similar sized fallen stone and the remains of a couple of stone circles. There were also the remains of two wartime buildings! This part of Strathearn is particularly good for burial mounds and standing stones; there are more at a farm slightly lower down the hill.
 
It turned out to be one of these hills where there is very little climbing involved as a road runs across the moor joining the Crieff/Perth road to the Crieff/Aberfeldy road. There was a small car park at the start of the walk, just inside a gate, and a track takes you to the top and beyond. This is grouse shooting country although a local I met said that the birds were in very short supply nowadays.
 
This is the approach to the monument.....
 
 
The standing stone (about 1.8m high) and a circle looking east.....
 
 
and looking north with some of the Ben Chonzie hills in the background.....
 
 
Despite its lack of height, this is a fine viewpoint. Ben Vorlich was prominent among the higher snow covered hills in the west......
 
 
If I'd had more time I would have carried on and climbed another couple of Tumps that are to the north. However, it had been a late start so I just went back stopping on the way to the main road at St Beans church in Fowlis Wester to have a look at a couple of 8th or 9th century Pictish slab-crosses.....
 
 
A trip just right for a short January day.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

A new year- Neilston Pad

7 January 2018
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Neilston Pad, 261m/856', Tump p49, OS 64, NS 477 551
 
A new year and after a long spell of grey and very wet weather, it was a cracking winter's day for my first walk. It was -6C when I started out and I even had to remove some ice from the inside windows of the car. I decided on something close to home, there were lots of Tumps to choose from Renfrewshire way so I ended up driving to Neilston to tackle one of the most prominent, Neilston Pad. I parked partly on a wide pavement close to the entrance to the track to Craig of Neilston farm, which was the route to the hill.
 
I followed the track past the farm which seemed to be deserted, took a left turn then a right to get on  to a broad path which slanted up the east side of the Pad. There were good views of Snypes Dam from here (why are all the wee lochs called "Dams" around here?).....



The path reached a fence from where it was only a short walk over tussocky ground to the top. Everything was frozen today but it looked as though this would be usually quite a muddy walk. The highest point was marked by a small pile of stones not far from a larger cairn which was the better viewpoint.....


Although it was clear blue sky and sunny, there was a bit of a haze which diminished the distant views. Nevertheless, I could see the snow covered Arran peaks to the south west over Commore Dam.....


but the view to Harelaw Dam was affected by the strong low sun......


There is a good network of tracks and paths on this hill so after returning to the fence, I headed on south west. This is looking back to the summit area.....


A combination of paths led me down to Craighall Dam. Neilston Pad rose steeply above it.....

 


A walk through a bit of Sitka forest took me along the loch shore and eventually back on to the track that I had started out on. There were a few more folk about now; the paths around the lochs seem to be a popular local walk. The weather helped but even without that I would have been impressed with this hill, which I would never have thought about had I not discovered Tumps. And there a lot more Tumps in this area; just right for short winter days!